Happy New Year

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Well I totally meant to write a meaningful end-of-year post, but December got a little crazy and I just didn’t get around to it. I’ll do a quick wrap up right now before I move on to my goals for this year.

What I did well last year:

  • tracked all of my expenses for the year so I could see where all of my money went
  • stayed consistent with my book club – we met almost every month…we just couldn’t find time to get everyone together in November and December.
  • got much better at being mindful and listening to what my body tells me
  • finally called my doctor to help me with my weight

Those are just a few things off the top of my head. I’m sure I did other things well last year, I just can’t think of anymore specific examples.

This year I want to work on:

  • Making my money work for me – since last year was all about tracking, now I can see where I can cut back and maybe add in some extra so I can pay down some debt
  • doing more fun things with my book club – I’ve got a couple of movie nights planned for us and maybe some field trips in addition to our monthly meetings
  • getting better with my hand-lettering – I’d like to take some online classes for fun to see if I can really improve
  • making exercise and meditation a regular part of my routine – I know all the benefits of moving regularly and meditating, now I just want to do them often enough to really reap the rewards (better sleep, less stress, & clearer thinking)!
  • conquering the demons that have control of my hair – this may be the year I chop it all off. I’m so over it.

What did you do well last year? What do you want to work on this year?

 

Soon…I promise!

G’day Everyone!

Well I don’t know about you, but August nearly kicked my tail. It was full of highs (Big New Adventures!!!) and lows (omgosh my daughter’s volleyball schedule is about to kill me!!) and everything in between. The month of September is shaping up to be busy as well, but I’m ready for it.

So, I need to take care of some housekeeping around here and explain a few things. I promise to tell you about my BIG ADVENTURE as soon as I get the green light. I will tell you that it involved a trip to New York City and it might also possibly involve a daytime talk show. I’M DYING TO TELL YOU ALL ABOUT IT. And I promise I will within the next couple of weeks AS SOON AS THEY TELL ME I CAN. ¬†WHICH I HOPE WILL BE SOON BECAUSE GAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!! ūüôā

As I was saying, as a result of this new thing, I am focusing on making my life better in small ways and big ways and I want to share with you guys everything I’m learning because I know I’m not a special snowflake and anything I’m feeling, a lot of you are probably feeling as well.¬†So in the coming days,¬†I’d like to focus on real world applications that we can make to our lives that will make us feel better – about ourselves and our situations. This blog is going to be primarily about putting ourselves at the top of the list – for some of us that might mean putting ourselves ON the list to start.

As a result of…the thing I can’t talk about yet…I have been in contact with a therapist who specializes in self-esteem. I haven’t asked her permission to share her name here, but let me tell you she is fantastic, and I’m learning a lot. I already have so many blog posts swirling around in my brain about this – I love that feeling and it’s one I haven’t had in a long time.

I want to leave you with a question – I want you to really think about this over the weekend and imagine the answer in your head. Imagine this as if there were no obstacles whatsoever. I heard this question asked in a Tedx Talk that I watched a couple of days ago and it stuck with me (I’ll post the video in my next post).

If you could be the woman of your dreams, who would you be?

                    -Caroline McHugh

Think about it and let me know in the comments if you have an idea.¬†If you don’t have any idea, that’s okay – just spend some time thinking about it.

Later Sweets!

The More You Do, The Better You Feel – Book Review

Sometimes you get a mirror held up to your face and you recognize yourself in ways that had never occurred to you before. That was the case when I began reading The More You Do, The Better You Feel, a book about procrastination. I have, for a really long time, jokingly referred to myself as a procrastinator, and I say “jokingly” because who really thinks of procrastination as a serious condition? I certainly didn’t, and never really gave much mind to my habit of putting things off, much to the dismay of my take-charge-take-action husband who could never really understand why it took me 3 weeks to complete a simple task like paying my car insurance. But when I started reading this book, I understood for the first time, just how debilitating procrastination can be.

Within the first few pages of this book, I was saying to myself “oh wow, this guy GETS IT.” the author, David Parker, understands first hand what it’s like to be a chronic procrastinator and gives his personal story of falling down the rabbit hole of avoidance and low self-esteem that procrastinating can bring. I began underlining sentences, then paragraphs and finally just putting an X next to passages that had me vigorously nodding my head in agreement. Suddenly I felt like I had an answer to “why can’t I just DO this???” which is a question I have asked myself for several years in regards to not only weight loss, but housekeeping, and paying bills before they’re due.

Parker puts procrastinators into 2 groups: casual procrastinators and habitual procrastinators. The difference between the two being casual procrastinators might let dirty dishes pile up in the sink for a day or two, whereas habitual procrastinators will avoid the dirty dishes to the point of going out and buying paper plates and plastic-ware so they don’t have to deal with the dishes at all (an example Parker uses in his book). I think I would identify as a casual procrastinator with one foot firmly planted in the habitual camp. I will wait to do dishes until right before I go to bed, or I will pay my bills online the day they are due.¬†I seem to come in right under the line but manage to keep things going without many consequences. I do¬†think my weight struggle is in part due to my procrastination and that has NOT been without consequence, obviously.

The book is in two¬†sections with the first part titled Understanding Procrastination and the second titled Into Action. In this first section Parker talks about how procrastinators think and how they come to be the way they are as well as listing¬†25 characteristics, traits, and behaviors of procrastinators. I could list them all out here for you, but instead I’m going to share the ones that I relate to the most:

  • waiting until The Right Time to act, except the right time never comes, so nothing gets done.
  • a¬†profound dislike for tasks that are complicated or take more than a few minutes to accomplish
  • being easily distracted from tasks
  • worrying that if I’m able to do xyz now, shouldn’t I always be able to do it?
  • feeling like I’ve earned the right to do nothing once I do complete a large task (this could relate to that feeling of “I’ve done so well on my diet this week, I deserve to take a break with this double dip chunky chocolate hot fudge sundae).
  • feeling envy that other people have seemingly superior abilities
  • have all-or-nothing feelings
  • feeling impatient and frustrated much of the time

I imagine most people feel this way at some time or another, but I think procrastinators feel this way most of the time – I know I do – and it becomes what feels like a huge insurmountable obstacle to happiness.

In the second section, Parker discusses ways in which the procrastinator can begin to change his/her ways, but first he goes through what he calls The Golden Rules of Overcoming Habitual Procrastination (found in Chapter 9). There are eleven rules total, but here are the ones that spoke to me particularly:

  • Always keep the promises you make to yourself.
  • The primary goal of accomplishing your tasks is¬†to increase your self esteem.
  • Be wary of making harsh or inappropriate self statements.
  • Understand there will be consequences for your inaction.
  • Take the pressure off yourself by developing patience from within.

The subject of self-esteem comes up many times in this book and I had honestly never really linked my procrastination to my low self esteem, but I can see now how avoiding tasks can keep someone from feeling good about themselves.

The way out of habitual procrastination, according to Parker, is to use The¬†J.O.T Method‚ĄĘ that he developed. This method is very simple, but very effective in helping the procrastinator to getting things accomplished. I don’t want to give away¬†The¬†J.O.T Method‚ĄĘ here, but just know that it is something anyone can do. It involves making a list, but the technique is special because it gives your instant gratification and genuinely makes you feel as if you have accomplished something at the end of the day.

I appreciate that Parker included a section in his book on dealing with setbacks, because as we all know, changing a habit is not a linear experience. There will be times when you are nailing it every day, but then those times come up where life just seems to get in the way and you end up right back at square one. He has tips for dealing with setbacks and things to look out for that might lead to having a setback. I like an author who can accept his readers are human and might have trouble adapting to change.

Overall, I found this book to be incredibly helpful and insightful. It explained a lot of things about myself that I had never really taken the time to question, and it gave clear answers to those questions I didn’t even know I had. I recommend this book for anyone who has referred to themselves as a procrastinator, whether casual¬†or habitual, and also to those who sometimes just have trouble getting started and/or finishing tasks. I feel that it was really worth my time to read this book and also worth my time to review it for you here. I hope that it will help someone else who may be suffering.

Here’s where you can get the book (not an affiliate link):¬†http://amzn.com/1935880012

The More You Do The Better You Feel

Interesting conversation with my husband

In keeping with the theme of procrastination for this month, I wanted to discuss a conversation I recently had with my husband about laundry. Yes, laundry. I know, super exciting, but hang with me for a moment, it gets interesting.

We were packing up and getting ready to head home¬†from a weekend getaway with the kids when my husband asked where the dirty laundry should go. I pointed to a trash bag stuffed full of towels, swim suits, socks, and other items that we had worn throughout the weekend, sighed heavily and said woefully “I can’t wait to get home and spend the rest of my weekend doing LAUNDRY”. He said “You act like you don’t like doing laundry” to which I replied “Nobody likes doing laundry!! Do YOU like doing laundry???” He quietly said “Well, sort of…I mean, I like having clean clothes, so yeah, I like doing laundry.”

Whoa.

Back the truck up!

My procrastinator’s brain had never considered that thought before. In my mind, doing laundry = unpleasant task because I would rather be doing something else. It never occurred to me that doing laundry = pleasant task because of the outcome of ¬†clean clothes. I think as a procrastinator, I tend to focus on instant gratification and how what I’m doing is making me feel RIGHT NOW. Digging clothes out of the hamper and loading them into the washer is not a pleasant task – and that’s what I focus on when I’m doing laundry. If, however, I can shift my thinking into “it’s going to feel so good to get this laundry done!” the task at hand might not be so unpleasant.

In relation to weight loss, this can be explained in why it’s sometimes so hard for me to step away from the cookies or get up early to work out. I’m so focused on the taste of the cookie or how comfy my bed feels that it’s difficult to wrap my head around the concept doing something “unpleasant” now is going to yield outcomes that make me feel really good in an hour. For a long time, I never understood¬†how¬†runners could keep doing something that they themselves often deem as awful or hard, but now I think I’m beginning to see that they run for the good feeling they get afterward. Unpleasant task = good outcome, therefore they keep doing the hard thing. *lightbulb*

My husband is not a procrastinator. He takes care of things as soon as they come up, or often before they come up. He is very proactive and also what I call a Long Term Thinker. He is very good at supposing things that might come up long term ¬†and planning ahead and being proactive. I, on the other hand¬†tend to spend most of my time flying by the seat of my pants. In our years together, I have improved and I’m getting better, but I still have a ways to go before I’m up to his level of adulthood. ūüôā

In the days since our conversation, I’ve thought a lot about what my husband said and how I can apply it to other chores I tend to put off because they seem unpleasant:

  • At my job, I do a lot of filing and my File Pile¬†can get very tall¬†in a short amount of time. I really dislike filing, but I love seeing that empty space on my desk. So I’ve been trying to file more often, which when I do it more regularly, takes less time overall. Winning!
  • I dislike having to wash my car, but I love having a clean car, so on Saturday I went through the automatic car wash. Yes I paid a little extra for the convenience, but it got done and I didn’t have to think about it anymore.
  • I don’t like to grocery shop on Sundays, but I even like it even less on Mondays after work, so last Sunday I did the shopping for the week. After work on Monday, I went straight home and had to time to read a book for a few minutes before getting dinner started. That was a treat!

I’m still looking for chores/experiences¬†that I can view with a fresh perspective. It’s a different way of thinking and one I hope to adopt into a habit.

So what about you? How do you feel about laundry? Are you a Long Term Thinker and if so, have you always been that way or did you learn it? Or are you like me and constantly drowning in unfinished chores and To-Do lists?

Giving the middle finger to middle age

My husband said I would never do it, so of course I immediately called my hair stylist, who is now my colorist, and told her I wanted a streak of color in my hair. She thought we needed more than a streak and I agreed. Apparently when the gauntlet is thrown down, I don’t procrastinate because just a few days later, I walked out of the salon with magenta highlights.

I love it so much I can hardly stand it.

Screw you Middle Age!! I do what I want! ūüôā

Procrastination and Weight Loss

A couple of weeks ago, I was in the midst of what I like to call my “whirling dervish of weight loss” thoughts. You know those thoughts that seem to come at your brain from all directions and swirl around in your head like an unrelenting tornado that is bent on destroying your sanity? It goes something like this: “This is just UNACCEPTABLE! I have to do something about my weight NOW! But what am I going to do? I’ve already done everything and nothing has worked! But maybe I just didn’t try hard enough…maybe if I try EVEN HARDER… oh gosh I just don’t think I have to energy to start over AGAIN with that plan…I’ll never lose weight, I’ll never be thin again…I might as well just accept that this is how it’s always going to be. I can’t think about this now, I’ll worry about it later…oooh, is that a cupcake?!? I can’t believe I just ate that cupcake. My weight is out of control. This is just UNACCEPTABLE!”¬†and so it goes around and around until¬†my self esteem is left shattered and splintered like an old wooden fence in a¬†storm.

After the dust had settled and I looked at the piles of work on my desk which were going¬†untouched, I wondered if procrastination and weight loss struggles could somehow be related. I Googled “weight loss for procrastinators” and what I found surprised me. There were several articles about this very subject and after going through six or seven of them, I discovered that they all had a few pieces of advice in common, and I thought I would share them with you. I’m also linking the 3 articles that I thought were most informative and helpful.

  1. Have appropriate goals. This article had a sentence that sort of smacked me in the face: “Consider the goals you have for this diet. Perhaps you do not even realize some of the ways in which these goals are more like hopes, dreams and fantasies.”¬†Wow. If your goals are something along the lines of “I want to walk on the beach in a skimpy bathing suit while adoring eyes behold my exquisite beauty” – that might be a fantasy and NOT an actionable goal. I have been guilty of this – having pie in the sky goals keeps me from having to deal with the not-so-exciting goals like¬†walking 3 times per week.
  2. Acknowledge and celebrate small successes. “People who are successful, give themselves credit for their successes (big as well as small), Procrastinators often do the opposite and continually put themselves down. To be successful we have to learn to accept that if we have 6 out of 7 good days, it was a good week and be happy with these results. Remember-‚ÄúSuccess Breeds Success‚ÄĚ.¬†I would even argue that 4 out of 7 days is successful and to build up to 6 out of 7 days. Give yourself credit for every single success, no matter how small (this is one that I need to take to heart).
  3. Break the task into smaller, easily attainable tasks. Use the Ten Minute Rule (telling yourself you only have to spend ten minutes on the treadmill, for example) or break the task down into teeny tiny baby steps (Put on your walking shoes, then fill up your water bottle, then take ten steps out your front door, etc) can help you at least get started on the task at hand and most importantly, give you a feeling of success when you actually accomplish them.

After reading several articles, it occurred to me that, oh yeah, I have a book about procrastination that’s been sitting on my kitchen table for 3 weeks that I need to review. The irony is not lost on me that I procrastinated reading a book about overcoming procrastination. :/ I’m happy to report that since then, I have read half of the book¬†and already have half of my review written! Yay me! I’m awesome! (See tip #2 above) So look for that in the near future. In fact, I think I’m going to dedicate the month of August to the topic of procrastination – discussing the book and putting its advice into practice. I’ll share here on the blog how I’m coming along with that¬†and¬†I’ll try to check in at least weekly with my progress.

Do you think you are a procrastinator and if so, do you think it plays in to your weight loss struggles? Have you found ways to overcome procrastination? Share in the comments below!

Back to the beginning

Awhile back, I said I was done with dieting, and I still mean that. I will not go another diet as long as I live…I just won’t. ¬†I’ve experimented lately with some habit changes, which are great¬†in and¬†of themselves,¬†but I ended up turning them into a diet of their own and making myself crazy with “why can’t I just do¬†this right???” and that right there was my signal that this particular plan wasn’t a good fit for me. So even if it isn’t called a “diet”…if it makes me have crazy diet thoughts…I won’t dip my toe into it.

I am, however, still way overweight for my 5’3” frame (I figure I’m anywhere from 50-85 pounds overweight depending on which “healthy weight” model you choose) so what am I going to do? I started thinking back…way back…to how I used to keep my weight in check. See, I never had a weight problem until I was an adult and started having kids in my mid-twenties, but up until then I kept myself at a very healthy weight and had no problem maintaining it. I can remember being in high school and staying at around 115 pounds – that was my go-to weight, the weight that I knew I needed to be at. I didn’t do any sports but I was busy with school and a part time job and being with friends on the weekend and it wasn’t a big deal to maintain that weight. I would only weigh myself periodically, just to sort of check in with myself, and if I was a few pounds over 115, I would just simply back off of how much I was eating for a few days until my weight was back down to 115. Easy peasy, no big deal. I didn’t stress over it…I didn’t obsess about it…I just did what was necessary and went on with¬†my life. I continued to do this all the way through college (I think I gained about ten pounds between the ages of 15 and 22 because I was still growing and also because of the ubiquitous beer and pizza I consumed on weekends because COLLEGE) but even then, I knew that 125 pounds was my red-line weight. If I started to go over that line, I just ate a little less until I was back under 125. Again, it was nothing I stressed out about – I just did it.

When I met my husband the year after I graduated college (I had¬†moved in with my parents in June and spent that entire fall/winter holed up in my room reading romance novels – I felt a little lost and maybe a touch depressed), I was up to 135 pounds and I felt like I was WAY OVERWEIGHT (if I only knew then just how overweight I would eventually become I wouldn’t have been so mortified). But even at 135, I was still very healthy and looked slender and fit.

Enter pregnancy #1 and a 45 pound weight gain – YIKES. After I had my son, I was still able to lose 30 pounds on my own by eating less and keeping busy (I was working full time as a retail assistant manager) – I didn’t follow any special diet, I just knew instinctively what to do.

And then I screwed it all up. I went on my first diet at the age of 27 in an effort to lose those last 15 pounds. And gained 5 pounds. Then I went on another diet, and another diet and another diet and over the last 17 years I have managed to diet my way up to 200 pounds.

So, I am going back to the beginning…before all the diets and work out plans that promised I would lose weight if I only did xyz and jumped through the hoops…before I felt horrible about my body…before I naively put my trust in external sources. I am going back to my instincts and what I have always known would work for me. Very simply put, that means backing off of the food and eating in a way that will get me back down to a manageable weight. I am not starving myself or cutting anything in a drastic measure, but I know when/what I need to eat less of and I’m doing that. I may not make it back down to 125, but I know I can ¬†make it to a healthier weight. I will continue to work out regularly (currently I’m doing zumba twice a week and strength training twice a week and the rest of the time I just try to keep moving and staying busy) as well.

I started this last week and have seen a 3 pound decrease on the scale, so I know that I’m on the right track. For the first time in a long time, I’m trusting myself. I’m doing what I need to do for my body and doing it without any drama or hype. My mindset is in the right place and I feel good about it. I realize it’s going to take several months to get to a healthier¬†weight and I’m okay with that – it took me 17 years to put it on, so taking 17 months to get it all off is not unreasonable.

Sometimes, to get to the end, you have to start back at the beginning.

No Sweat! – if you are not a fan of exercise, read this

For about the last six months or so, I have had the hardest time trying to get motivated to exercise. For awhile last year, I really got into doing Zumba, but then it became¬†something I HAD to do, so I lost interest and I couldn’t find anything else that interested me enough to get up off the couch or out of bed in the morning to do it.

Then in mid-May I read a book called No Sweat by Michelle Segar, PhD, and it completely changed how I view exercise. Seriously, this book got me off the couch and working out regularly¬†and I’ve been loving every minute of it.

NoSweat

I sort of expected this book to be another work out plan, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it isn’t. Right off the bat, Segar declares that any and all activity counts as exercise. Wha??? That’s right – it ALL counts. As long as you are moving, you are in the game. Just finished scrubbing your bathroom for the last hour? Boom! You just did an hour of exercise. Took your dog for a walk? Pow! Exercise! And guess what? YOU get to decide what exercise means to you. If you hate the gym, you don’t have to ever set foot in one to get a healthy dose of exercise. If you like walking, then walk to your little heart’s content! Spending time in the garden is a great way to move your body as well! Find what you like to do…I mean really ENJOY doing, and then find ways to fit that into your day.

Segar’s approach is structured in MAPS, which stands for Meaning, Awareness, Permission, and Strategies. Here’s a brief overview of how each segment works:

Meaning: Here you are guided to figure out what exercise means to you and how you can change that meaning so that exercise becomes something you like doing. I talked to a young woman not long ago about working out and¬†she was talking about how many miles a day she runs. I casually mentioned that I don’t particularly care for¬†running when she yelled¬†out “I EFFING HATE RUNNING! I REALLY REALLY HATE IT!” Concerned, I asked her why she does it then and she said it was because she felt like she had to run¬†because that’s what you have to do to lose weight. I felt so bad for her! Conversely, I talked recently with another woman who said “after work, I like to run in the park because it helps me wind down and transition into evening. It really helps clear my head and I love it.” For her, it was an enjoyable experience. Same exercise, but two different meanings. The section¬†in the book on meanings explores why we feel the way we do towards exercise and then guides the reader through questions that help achieve a new meaning. This chapter helped me to see that working out is a gift I can give to MYSELF – it’s something just for me that makes me feel better. It’s an hour of time that is MINE…and I now protect it without apology to anyone. This sentence was one of many light bulb moments for me: “…the messages that have been directing your exercise choices are pressuring you instead of fueling you.”¬†When I stopped looking at working out as something I should be doing, it helped me realize that I actually do like working out – on my own terms. That’s the key for me. Finding your meaning for exercise gives you permission to work out on your own terms, in a way that feels good to you.

Awareness:¬†¬†The section on awareness is all about doing what feels good. It’s about getting real and asking yourself, okay, what am I willing to do every day? What kind of activity will feel good to me and I will actually look forward to doing? Here’s the gist: As Gretchen Rubin says in The Happiness Project¬†“The twenty minute walk that I do is better than the four-mile run that I don’t do.”* If you enjoy taking a walk after dinner because it gives you time to connect with your partner or your kids or your friend, you will be more willing to fit that into your day, rather than if you tell yourself you HAVE to do that DVD workout first thing in the morning (even after getting only 5 hours of sleep the night before). Which activity are you going to look forward to doing? But¬†if you legitimately enjoy lifting the heaviest weight possible at the gym because it makes you feel like a BAMF, then that’s your jam! Get quiet with yourself, ask your body what activity¬†would make it feel better, and then do that thing.

Permission: The next section is on Permission, and I’m sure by now you’ve heard that you can’t take care of anyone else if you don’t take care of yourself first. I used to hear that and think “yeah, yeah, it’s easy to say, but you don’t know my family and my schedule!” But listen well, ladies, because I’m finding out that it’s true. It’s counter-intuitive to think that the more I let myself do the things I love, the easier it is to care for my family, but that’s how it’s playing out in my own life. What that looks like is this – when I’m doing activities that I enjoy and doing them regularly, I am LESS RESENTFUL when my family asks me to do things for them. For so long (so, so long) I felt resentful towards my family for making me feel like I was pulled in 4 different directions – it ain’t pretty, but it’s the truth. I constantly felt like I was at the bottom of the list, and I was because I was putting myself there! In the last month that I’ve been working out regularly, I am more patient and less cranky because I take an hour after work to go to the gym and sweat and lift heavy things and dance and just bask in the tidiness and femininity of the area. And as I said earlier, I make no apologies for taking that time – my husband recognizes how much it helps me and not one single kid has complained that dinner is now an hour later than it used to be.

One of the topics I loved in this section was the Self-Care Hierarchy. Modeled after Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, it asks what your absolute needs are when it comes to self care – what are the things that are important to you in feeling cared for? For me, my foundation is SLEEP. If I don’t get enough sleep, everything else is just wonky.¬†You might be one of those people who can function perfectly fine on just a few hours of sleep (my husband is one of those people), so your foundation might be different. My next level up is SOLITUDE – I get cranky if I don’t get some alone time (and no, being at work by myself for 8 hours doesn’t count) – one of my favorite things to do is to flip through a magazine in the evenings when I’m alone in my room. The next level up for me is ACTIVITY¬†– working out makes me feel more confident which in turn makes me feel more comfortable being ME. Even if I’m not at the gym, just moving around and being productive at housework or something like that makes me feel better about myself. Probably my last level is PERSONAL GROOMING¬†– having a nice lotion, painting my nails, having clothes to wear that I like…all of these little things make me feel as if I am caring for myself. These are all the things that I need in order to feel fulfilled. I could probably also add things like time spent with friends, quality time spent with my husband, eating well…those things make the list too. I loved thinking about what my needs are and how much of an impact they have on how I feel. I highly recommend doing this exercise – it was an eye opener for me.

Strategies: this is the last section in the book and this covers the HOW – how are you going to make everyday activity a thing? This section covers how to fit activity into your life, talking to loved one about your new activities, and negotiating challenges. There are so many good strategies in this section, you’ll never be able to use your old stand-by excuses again. But the great thing is, that even if there is a day when you can’t/don’t want to fit in your activity – THAT’S OKAY TOO. Sometimes our bodies just need a break…so if your body is telling you that it wants to rest, listen to it.

There are SO MANY more things in this book that I would love to talk about, but then this would be the never-ending blog post and nobody got time for that. Seriously, this book has changed the way I view exercise and for a former couch potato like myself, that’s saying something. If you have a hard time finding your motivation to exercise, please go pick up this book and read it with an open mind. Honestly, I had no expectations when I read it and what I felt when I read it was relief. I just breathed a sigh and thought “well okay, yeah I can do this!” I joined the gym because of this book…I’m making self care a priority because of this book…basically I’m getting my groove back because of this book and I feel awesome. So please, please, please…go read this book if you just can’t find your WHY in regards to exercise.¬†Then come back and let me know if/how it has changed the way you view exercise.

I received a digital manuscript copy of this book to read in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was given to me and my review is my honest opinion. I have no affiliate links with Amazon.

*This quote was also used in the No Sweat book. 

Random bits

Hola!

Interesting…lots of people were quick to comment last week on my self care post, but hardly anyone wanted to comment on the “responsibility to exercise” post. I’m not sure what that means, but I thought it was interesting to note.¬†I’m going to write a post on all that later and I’ll give my answer to those questions as well.

Had a conversation with a friend the other day in which we were expressing the difficulties of “stopping at satisfied” when it comes to eating. She said since she’s been trying to eat only 3 meals a day that she’s so happy to finally be eating but that it’s hard to turn right around and say “oh, now I have to think about stopping”. I replied with “it’s hard to stop eating when you’re satisfied because¬†it’s the eating itself that feels so satisfying”. BOOM! TRUTH BOMB OUT OF NOWHERE! Sometimes I surprise myself with answers to questions I didn’t even know I had. This was pretty revelatory for me and explained why I have always had such a hard time with “eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re satisfied”. It’s not going to do me any good at all to try to¬†stop eating at satisfied until I can¬†learn to stop¬†finding satisfaction in the act of eating. I mean sure, everyone is satisfied by eating, but when it becomes the ONE THING you really look forward to in a day…that’s a problem. A problem that I have, but I’m working on getting over that.

I read a really good book over the weekend. It’s called Sugar and it’s written by Deirdre Riordin Hall and it’s about an obese teenage girl and how she navigates life while taking care of a bed-ridden mother. Through her main character, Hall perfectly describes what it’s like to be a binge eater – if you’ve ever had an issue with emotional eating, you’ll appreciate this book. It’s very touching and I’ll admit, I cried at some parts – I tend to get a little emotionally attached to characters in books, especially when I can identify with them so well. A very good book to add to your summer reading list!

In the realm of self care, I did something recently I don’t usually do: had a girls’ weekend in Kansas City with an old friend of mine that I’ve known since junior high. It was fulfilling in so many ways! Just getting away for a couple of days and being with someone who knows all the trouble you got into (because they were right there with you getting into the same trouble) and talking about life and whatnot…new friends are great but there’s nothing like being with friends who just GET you. Getting together with friends is one of those things that I have to schedule in advance, but it’s so totally worth the time and energy it takes to make it happen. I need to find a way to do it more than just a couple of times a year.

Still working out, still loving my new gym. For such a long time, I resisted the idea of paying money for this, but now that I’ve done it…man is it worth every penny! I never thought I’d be one to say that I like working out, but I really do. I love lifting weights and I love the Zumba instructor there and I still desperately love the massage chair. I love it when things are even better than you expect! ūüôā

That’s all I’ve got for now. I have a couple of fun reviews coming up, so look for that in the next few days or next week or whenever I get a chance to get it finished…because ya know, life and it’s tendency to get in the way.

Have a good week!

Jill